T Nation

Tall Sumo Deadlifters?


I am wondering how many guys over six feet pull Sumo style?

If so how low do you get your hips?

Are your shoulders behind the bar, over the bar or slightly in front?


I'd be interested in finding this out too.


I'm 6'3 and have started to do sumo DL.

I use a pretty wide stance, more then shoulder width, and have my feet pointing out.

I say I get my hips fairly low, but I also keep the bar as close to my body as I can. throughout the entire lift.

There is a deadlifting article around here, and it goes over that if you keep the bar closer to your body, the bar will have a straighter line of travel, then in turn allows you to pull more.

I have fairly long arms as well, I think this helps me out by not having to get as low as someone would with shorter arms.


Shoulders are always supposed to be behind or even with the bar when deadlifting.


That's always been my understanding, yet when I look at at deadlifting pics online I see otherwise...at least it look s that way.

It seems like a lot of guys have their anterior delts sligthly in front of the bar.


I am 6'4" and I am starting to experiment with sumo after a long period of only doing trapbar deadlifts.



Shoulders behind the bar.


I am still confused, I guess I'm not sure what is meant by "shoulders behind the bar".

It looks like his delts are slightly in front of the bar.

I'm not trying to nitpick. I just want to educate myself.


Than you for the video BTW, watching it helped me realize that my form is ok.


On the EFS squat and DL exercise index vid, jim talks about keeping the shoulder girdle behind the bar and keeping the bar as close to you as possible.


I've watchted the video about ten times now, he is clearly keeping his shoulder girdle behind the bar.


thanks so much for that video. it helped me alot.


I'm 6'5", with very long legs and short torso. Sumo is defintely better for me - I have trouble getting the bar around my knees on convo.
I set up with my toes almost to the plates, my instep under the bar, and my shoulders behind the bar. My thighs ar about paralell with the floor when I start to pull. Hope that helps.


It does help, I tried conventional pulls on friday and I was having a hard time getting the bar past my knees.


I agree, I'm a long-legged 6'4" and sumo definitly feels better. I have the same problem with the bar getting "stuck" at the knees.

With that said, I can deadlift a lot more conventionally. I've hit 475 convetional but have never broken 405 off the floor sumo-style. Could be weak hams/glutes, could be the fact that I only recently started experimenting with sumo.

I feel like, for an athlete, a "semi-sumo" (feet not very wide, but hands inside) stance might be best since it puts more emphasis on the hams/glutes and takes some stress off the low back, while not being super-wide, which would stress the adductors (not fun to do any running the day after legit sumo deads) and shorten the ROM. Just my .02


You need to train the sumo DL more often in the heavier percentages to control your form with it.

It falls apart easy.


I'm 6' and my training partner is 6' 1".

My feet touch the plates when I pull and my TP uses a modified/close stance sumo. You have to experiment with foot position and hand placement on the bar. If your hands are too close together, you will have a difficult time locking out even the easiest weight. This is due to not being able to retract the shoulders at the end of the lockout. Otherwise the weight stays in front of you too long and you'll never get a down signal from the head judge.

Check out some of the vids of our pulls.

Later, David


I have to agree with the fact that it takes stress off the lower back, I feel more comfortable DLing sumo, conventional just puts too much strain on my back. I'm 6'5" with long legs and short torso as well. My best is ~430 pounds a with sumo stance,at a bw of ~213 lbs. I havent DLed that near that much conventional style, but then again I havent pulled max with that style in a long time.


Wow! That was some impressive stuff.

The videos help, thank you.


6'-2" and pulled 585 sumo. Toes about an inch inside the plates. You try to get behind the bar so you can pull backward (using your bodyweight to your advantage) as you pull up.

I just set up with shins on bar, drove hips back until I could grab the bar and pulled. I'm sure I was not 100% behind the bar but close.